Well, we have come to the final lesson in the Networking Your Online Business Crash Course. I hope you’ve enjoyed your lessons and learned a lot about networking. In this final lesson we’re going to go over a few common mistakes people make when they first start building their network, so you can avoid them.
As we discussed in your second lesson it’s very important to track your progress, so that you know whether you’re getting results or not. It’s also important to make sure you’re doing things right, so your business will grow.
However, knowing what to do is one thing; knowing what not to do is something else completely. You might even think you’re doing everything right, but if you find that you’re not making the connections you expected, then it’s time to re-evaluate and adjust your strategy. To help with this we’re going to go over some of the more common mistakes you can make, often without even realizing it. This way you can avoid them.
– Not accepting help
Networking is all about making connections and learning from our peers but when it comes to accepting help many of us find it difficult. Even if it’s simply in the form of advice. If this is you, try to keep in mind that people don’t know what you need unless you ask them.
The whole point of networking is to build a personal or professional network of people you can call on when you’re struggling to move forward. That’s why it’s so important to be connected to the right people.
– Not maintaining relationships
It’s very easy to fall out of touch with people, but if you want to form a strong network it’s important to maintain communication with your current contacts. As I mentioned in lesson three, you want to have at least five to ten strategic relationships that you’re always nurturing.
Set aside time in your schedule to follow up with them on a regular basis. See how they’re doing, offer aid if they need it and let them know how you’re doing too. This type of mutual accountability is one of the biggest benefits of networking. It’s a great motivator.
– Not using social media
We live in a time where networking is something that most of us do on some level every day. Social media makes it easy to connect to countless people all with diverse knowledge and skills to share. If you’re not taking advantage of this, then you’re missing out on a great opportunity to grow.
If you aren’t sure where to start LinkedIn is a good choice for making professional connections. As I’m sure you know this isn’t the only social media platform you should be using, but it’s a great place to begin getting your business in front of the right people.
– Not making connections in-person
While we’re in a time where social media is very important to networking, that doesn’t mean you should stop meeting people in person. If you want your online business to really grow you should make a real effort spend time with your contacts in person whether it’s locally or at conferences. Remember, you can’t do everything over the internet.
– Not expressing gratitude
Showing gratitude is more than just a social grace. When someone helps you, gratitude goes a long way. After having a conversation with someone in person or online, send them a quick thank you note for their time. It’s a small thing, but letting people know they’re appreciated encourages them to want to build a stronger working relationship with you.
– Forgetting it’s a two-way street
The law of reciprocity is extremely important when it comes to building a strong network, so when someone helps you, no matter how big or small, always be sure to reciprocate in some way.
Hopefully this will help you avoid making some of these mistakes as you go out and start networking your online business. Remember it should be a scheduled activity to connect and follow up with the people in your network. Before long you’ll have a strong and very beneficial group of people in your corner that are more than willing to help your business grow.